|Western Philosophy and Psychology|
19th/20th century philosophy
|Birth||January 11, 1842|
New York City, New York
|Death||August 26, 1910|
Chocorua, New Hampshire
|Main interests||Pragmatism, Psychology, Philosophy of Religion, Epistemology, Meaning|
|Notable ideas||The Will to Believe Doctrine, the pragmatic theory of truth, radical empiricism, James-Lange theory of emotion|
|Influenced by||C.S. Peirce, J.S. Mill, F.C.S. Schiller, Thomas Reid, Thomas Brown|
|Influenced||John Dewey, F.C.S. Schiller, Henri Bergson, George Santayana, Hilary Putnam, Richard Rorty, C. West Churchman, Michael Jackson (anthropology), Bill W., Benito Mussolini|
William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher trained as a medical doctor. In the 18th century the philosophies of The Enlightenment began to have a dramatic effect the landmark works of philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and Jean-Jacques See also [[Analytic philosophy]] and [[Continental philosophy]] The 20th century brought with it upheavals that produced a series of conflicting developments within Philosophy Events 1055 - Theodora is crowned Empress of the Byzantine Empire. Year 1842 ( MDCCCXLII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common The City of New York New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous Events 1071 - Battle of Manzikert: The Seljuk Turks defeat the Byzantine Army at Manzikert. Year 1910 ( MCMX) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting Chocorua is a village within the town of Tamworth in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. Pragmatism generally considered to have originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Peirce, who first stated the Pragmatic maxim. Pragmatism generally considered to have originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Peirce, who first stated the Pragmatic maxim. Psychology (from Greek grc ψῡχή psȳkhē, "breath life soul" and grc -λογία -logia) is an Academic and Philosophy of religion is a branch of Philosophy that is concerned with the philosophical study of religion including arguments over the nature and existence of God religious Epistemology (from Greek επιστήμη - episteme, "knowledge" + λόγος, " Logos " or theory of knowledge This article is about meaning as it is studied in the discipline of linguistics "The Will to Believe" is the title of William James 's classic lecture (published in 1897 defending the adoption of beliefs as Hypotheses and self-fulfilling Pragmatic theory of truth refers to those accounts definitions and theories of the concept Truth that distinguish the philosophies of Pragmatism Radical empiricism is a pragmatist doctrine put forth by William James. The James-Lange theory refers to a hypothesis on the origin and nature of emotions developed independently by two 19th-century scholars William James and Carl Charles Sanders Peirce (pronounced purse) (September 10 1839 &ndash April 19 1914 was an American Logician mathematician, philosopher John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 &ndash 8 May 1873 British Philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller ( August 16 1864 - August 9 1937) was a German - British pragmatist Thomas Reid ( April 26, 1710 – October 7, 1796) Scottish Philosopher, and a contemporary of David Hume, was Thomas Brown ( January 9, 1778 - April 2, 1820) was a Scottish metaphysician. John Dewey (October 20 1859 &ndash June 1 1952 was an American Philosopher, Psychologist, and educational reformer, whose thoughts and ideas have Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller ( August 16 1864 - August 9 1937) was a German - British pragmatist George Santayana ( December 16, 1863, Madrid &ndash September 26, 1952, Rome) was a Philosopher, Essayist Hilary Whitehall Putnam (born July 31 1926 is an American Philosopher who has been a central figure in Western philosophy since the 1960s especially in Philosophy Richard McKay Rorty (October 4 1931 - June 8 2007 was an American Philosopher. Charles West Churchman ( 29 August, 1913 &ndash 21 March, 2004 Bolinas California. Michael D Jackson (born 1940 is a Post-modern New Zealand anthropologist who has taught in the anthropology departments at the University of Copenhagen William Griffith Wilson ( 26 November 1895 – 24 January 1971) also known as Bill Wilson or Bill W William James (1842–1910 was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher Events 1055 - Theodora is crowned Empress of the Byzantine Empire. Year 1842 ( MDCCCXLII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common Events 1071 - Battle of Manzikert: The Seljuk Turks defeat the Byzantine Army at Manzikert. Year 1910 ( MCMX) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Psychology (from Greek grc ψῡχή psȳkhē, "breath life soul" and grc -λογία -logia) is an Academic and Philosophy is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence knowledge truth beauty justice validity mind and language He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and the philosophy of pragmatism. Educational psychology is the study of how Humans learn in Educational settings the effectiveness of educational interventions the psychology of teaching and the A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos Mysticism (from the Greek grc μυστικός mystikos, an initiate of a Mystery religion) is the pursuit of communion with identity Pragmatism generally considered to have originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Peirce, who first stated the Pragmatic maxim. He was the brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James. Henry James, OM ( –) son of theologian Henry James Sr, brother of the philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James Alice James ( August 7, 1848 &ndash March 6, 1892) was a US diarist.
William James was born at the Astor House in New York City, He was the son of Henry James Sr., an independently wealthy and notoriously eccentric Swedenborgian theologian well acquainted with the literary and intellectual elites of his day. The Astor House was for a time the finest hotel in New York City. The City of New York Henry James Sr ( June 3, 1811, Albany New York - December 18, 1882, Boston Massachusetts) was an American theologian The New Church Swedenborgianism is the belief system developed from the writings of the Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688 – 1772 Theology is the study of a god or the gods from a religious perspective The intellectual brilliance of the James family milieu and the remarkable epistolary talents of several of its members have made them a subject of continuing interest to historians, biographers, and critics.
James interacted with a wide array of writers and scholars throughout his life, including his godfather Ralph Waldo Emerson, Horace Greeley, William Cullen Bryant, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Charles Peirce, Josiah Royce, George Santayana, Ernst Mach, John Dewey, W. E. B. Du Bois, Helen Keller, Mark Twain, Horatio Alger, Jr., James George Frazer, Henri Bergson, H. G. Wells, G. K. Chesterton, Sigmund Freud, Gertrude Stein, Carl Jung and Benito Mussolini. Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25 1803 &ndash April 27 1882 was an American essayist philosopher poet and leader of the Transcendentalist movement in the early 19th century Horace Greeley ( February 3, 1811 &ndash November 29, 1872) was an American editor of a leading newspaper, a founder William Cullen Bryant (November 3 1794 - June 12 1878 was an American romantic poet, journalist and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr ( March 8, 1841 &ndash March 6, 1935) was an American Jurist who served on the Supreme Charles Sanders Peirce (pronounced purse) (September 10 1839 &ndash April 19 1914 was an American Logician mathematician, philosopher Josiah Royce ( November 20, 1855, Grass Valley California. &ndash September 14, 1916, Cambridge Massachusetts) was an George Santayana ( December 16, 1863, Madrid &ndash September 26, 1952, Rome) was a Philosopher, Essayist Ernst Mach (max ( February 18, 1838 &ndash February 19, 1916) was an Austrian Physicist and Philosopher and John Dewey (October 20 1859 &ndash June 1 1952 was an American Philosopher, Psychologist, and educational reformer, whose thoughts and ideas have William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (duːˈbɔɪz ( February 23, 1868 August 27, 1963) was an American Civil rights activist Helen Adams Keller (June 27 1880 – June 1 1968 was an American Author, Activist and lecturer Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30 1835 – April 21 1910 better known by the Pen name Mark Twain, was an American Humorist, satirist Horatio Alger Jr ( January 13, 1832 &ndash July 18, 1899) was a 19th-century American Author who wrote approximately Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 &ndash 13 August 1946 He was an outspoken socialist and a pacifist, his later works becoming increasingly political Gilbert Keith Chesterton (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936 was an influential English writer of the early 20th century Sigmund Freud (ˈziːkmʊnt ˈfʁɔʏt born Sigismund Shlomo Freud (May 6 1856 &ndash September 23 1939 was an Austrian Psychiatrist who founded Gertrude Stein ( February 3, 1874 &ndash July 27, 1946) was an American Writer who spent most of her life in France
William James, with his younger brother Henry James (who became a prominent novelist) and sister Alice James (who is known for her posthumously published diary), received an eclectic trans-Atlantic education, developing fluency in both German and French languages along with a cosmopolitan character. Henry James, OM ( –) son of theologian Henry James Sr, brother of the philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James Alice James ( August 7, 1848 &ndash March 6, 1892) was a US diarist. His family made two trips to Europe while he was still a child, setting a pattern that resulted in thirteen more European journeys during his life. His early artistic bent led to an early apprenticeship in the studio of William Morris Hunt in Newport, Rhode Island, but yielded in 1861 to scientific studies at Harvard University's Lawrence Scientific School. William Morris Hunt ( March 31, 1824 - September 8, 1879) American painter, was born at Brattleboro Vermont Newport is a city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States, about 30 miles (48 km south of Providence Year 1861 ( MDCCCLXI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common
In his early adulthood, James suffered from a variety of physical ailments, including those of the eyes, back, stomach, and skin. He was also subject to a variety of psychological symptoms which were diagnosed at the time as neurasthenia, and which included periods of depression during which he contemplated suicide for months on end. Neurasthenia is a psycho-pathological term first used by George Miller Beard in 1869 to denote a condition with symptoms of fatigue, Anxiety, Headache In the fields of Psychology and Psychiatry, the terms depression or depressed refer to both expected and pathologically chronic or severe Two younger brothers, Garth Wilkinson (Wilky) and Robertson (Bob), fought in the Civil War, but the other three siblings (William, Henry, and Alice) all suffered from periods of invalidism. Causes of the war See also Origins of the American Civil War, Timeline of events leading to the American Civil War The coexistence of a slave-owning South
James switched to medical studies at Harvard Medical School in 1864. Harvard Medical School ( HMS) is one of the graduate schools of Harvard University and currently the #1 medical school in America as ranked by U Year 1864 ( MDCCCLXIV) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year He took a break in the spring of 1865 to join Harvard's Louis Agassiz on a scientific expedition up the Amazon River, but aborted his trip after eight months, having suffered bouts of severe seasickness and mild smallpox. Year 1865 ( MDCCCLXV) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz ( May 28 1807 — December 14 1873) was a Swiss - American Zoologist, Glaciologist The Amazon River (Rio Amazonas Río Amazonas of South America is the largest river in the world by volume with a total river flow greater than the next top ten largest rivers Seasickness is a form of Motion sickness characterized by a feeling of Nausea and in extreme cases vertigo experienced after spending time on a craft Smallpox is an Infectious disease unique to humans caused by either of two virus variants named Variola major and Variola minor. His studies were interrupted once again due to illness in April 1867. He traveled to Germany in search of a cure and remained until November 1868. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. (During this period he began to publish, with reviews appearing in literary periodicals like the North American Review. ) He finally earned his M.D. degree in June 1869, but never practiced medicine. Doctor of Medicine ( MD or MD, from the Latin Medicinæ Doctor meaning "Teacher of Medicine" is a doctoral Year 1869 ( MDCCCLXIX) is a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year What he called his "soul-sickness" would only be resolved in 1872, after an extended period of philosophical searching. Year 1872 ( MDCCCLXXII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year He married Alice Gibbens in 1878.
James' time in Germany proved intellectually fertile, helping him find that his true interests lay not in medicine but in philosophy and psychology. Later, in 1902 he would write: "I originally studied medicine in order to be a physiologist, but I drifted into psychology and philosophy from a sort of fatality. Year 1902 ( MCMII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting I never had any philosophic instruction, the first lecture on psychology I ever heard being the first I ever gave". 
James spent his entire academic career at Harvard. He was appointed instructor in physiology for the spring 1873 term, instructor in anatomy and physiology in 1873, assistant professor of psychology in 1876, assistant professor of philosophy in 1881, full professor in 1885, endowed chair in psychology in 1889, return to philosophy in 1897, and emeritus professor of philosophy in 1907. Physiology (from Greek grc φύσις physis, "nature origin" and grc -λογία -logia) is the study of the mechanical physical Year 1873 ( MDCCCLXXIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Anatomy (from the Greek anatomia, from ana separate apart from and temnein, to cut up cut open is a branch of Biology that is the consideration Year 1873 ( MDCCCLXXIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Year 1876 ( MDCCCLXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year Year 1881 ( MDCCCLXXXI) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Year 1885 ( MDCCCLXXXV) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Year 1889 ( MDCCCLXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Year 1897 ( MDCCCXCVII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common Year 1907 ( MCMVII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year
James studied medicine, physiology, and biology, and began to teach in those subjects, but was drawn to the scientific study of the human mind at a time when psychology was constituting itself as a science. Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding James's acquaintance with the work of figures like Hermann Helmholtz in Germany and Pierre Janet in France facilitated his introduction of courses in scientific psychology at Harvard University. Pierre Marie Félix Janet ( May 30 1859 - February 24 1947) was a pioneering French Psychiatrist and Philosopher in the He taught his first experimental psychology course at Harvard in the 1875-1876 academic year. 
During his Harvard years, James joined in philosophical discussions with Charles Peirce, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Chauncey Wright that evolved into a lively group known as the Metaphysical Club by the early 1870s. Charles Sanders Peirce (pronounced purse) (September 10 1839 &ndash April 19 1914 was an American Logician mathematician, philosopher Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr ( March 8, 1841 &ndash March 6, 1935) was an American Jurist who served on the Supreme Chauncey Wright ( September 10, 1830 - September 12, 1875) American Philosopher and Mathematician, was born Louis Menand speculates that the Club provided a foundation for American intellectual thought for decades to come. Louis Menand (born January 21, 1952) is a prominent American writer and academic best known for his The United States of America —commonly referred to as the
Among James' students at Harvard were such luminaries as Boris Sidis, Theodore Roosevelt, George Santayana, W.E.B. Du Bois, G. Stanley Hall, Ralph Barton Perry, Gertrude Stein, Horace Kallen, Morris Raphael Cohen, Alain Locke, C. I. Lewis, and Mary Calkins. Boris Sidis PhD MD ( October 12, 1867 - October 24, 1923) was a Russian Jewish Psychologist, Physician Theodore Roosevelt (ˈroʊzəvɛlt October 27 1858 January 6 1919 also known as T George Santayana ( December 16, 1863, Madrid &ndash September 26, 1952, Rome) was a Philosopher, Essayist William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (duːˈbɔɪz ( February 23, 1868 August 27, 1963) was an American Civil rights activist Ralph Barton Perry (3 July 1876 in Poultney Vermont - 22 January 1957 in Boston Massachusetts) was an American philosopher Gertrude Stein ( February 3, 1874 &ndash July 27, 1946) was an American Writer who spent most of her life in France Horace Meyer Kallen ( August 11, 1882 - February 16 1974) was a Jewish-American philosopher Morris Raphael Cohen ( July 25, 1880 – January 28, 1947) was a Jewish Philosopher, Lawyer and Legal scholar Alain LeRoy Locke ( September 13, 1885 &ndash June 9, 1954) was an American Writer, Philosopher, Educator Clarence Irving Lewis ( April 12, 1883 Stoneham Massachusetts - February 3, 1964 Cambridge Massachusetts) usually Mary Whiton Calkins (1863-1930 was an American Philosopher Mary Whiton Calkins started her career as a Greek instructor at Wellesley College,
Following his January, 1907 retirement from Harvard, James continued to write and lecture, publishing Pragmatism,A Pluralistic Universe, and The Meaning of Truth. James was increasingly afflicted with cardiac pain during his last years. It worsened in 1909 while he worked on a philosophy text (unfinished but posthumously published as Some Problems in Philosophy). He sailed to Europe in the spring of 1910 to take experimental treatments which proved unsuccessful, and returned home on August 18. Events 293 BC - The oldest known Roman temple to Venus is founded starting the institution of Vinalia Rustica. His heart failed him on August 26, 1910 at his home in Chocorua, New Hampshire. Events 1071 - Battle of Manzikert: The Seljuk Turks defeat the Byzantine Army at Manzikert. Year 1910 ( MCMX) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting Chocorua is a village within the town of Tamworth in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. New Hampshire ( is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America.
He was one of the strongest proponents of the school of Functionalism in psychology and of Pragmatism in philosophy. Functional psychology or functionalism refers to a general psychological approach that views mental life and behavior in terms of active adaptation to the person's environment Pragmatism generally considered to have originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Peirce, who first stated the Pragmatic maxim. He was a founder of the American Society for Psychical Research, as well as a champion of alternative approaches to healing. The Society for Psychical Research ( SPR) is a Non-profit organization which started in the United Kingdom and was later imitated in other countries He challenged his professional colleagues not to let a narrow mindset prevent an honest appraisal of those phenomena.
In an empirical study by Haggbloom et al using six criteria such as citations and recognition, James was found to be the 14th most eminent psychologist of the 20th Century. 
William James wrote voluminously throughout his life. A fairly complete bibliography of his writings by John McDermott is 47 pages long.  (See below for a list of his major writings and additional collections)
He gained widespread recognition with his monumental Principles of Psychology (1890), twelve hundred pages in two volumes which took twelve years to complete. The Principles of Psychology is a monumental text in the history of Psychology, written by William James and published in 1890. Psychology: The Briefer Course, was an 1892 abridgement designed as a less rigorous introduction to the field. These works criticized both the English associationist school and the Hegelianism of his day as competing dogmatisms of little explanatory value, and sought to re-conceive of the human mind as inherently purposive and selective. Associationism in philosophy refers to the idea that mental processes operate by the association of one state with its successor states
James defined true beliefs as those that prove useful to the believer. The meaning of the word truth extends from Honesty, Good faith, and Sincerity in general to agreement with Fact or Reality Truth, he said, is that which works in the way of belief. "True ideas lead us into useful verbal and conceptual quarters as well as directly up to useful sensible termini. They lead to consistency, stability and flowing human intercourse" but "all true processes must lead to the face of directly verifying sensible experiences somewhere," he wrote. 
James's assertion that the value of a truth depends upon its use to the individual who holds it is known as pragmatism. Pragmatism generally considered to have originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Peirce, who first stated the Pragmatic maxim. Additional tenets of James's pragmatism include the view that the world is a mosaic of diverse experiences that can only be properly understood through an application of "radical empiricism. " Radical empiricism, distinct from everyday scientific empiricism, presumes that nature and experience can never be frozen for absolutely objective analysis, that, at the very least, the mind of the observer will affect the outcome of any empirical approach to truth since, empirically, the mind and nature are inseparable. In Philosophy, empiricism is a theory of Knowledge which asserts that knowledge arises from Experience. James's emphasis on diversity as the default human condition — over and against duality, especially Hegelian dialectical duality — has maintained a strong influence in American culture, especially among liberals (see Richard Rorty), and his radical empiricism lies in the background of contemporary relativism. Richard McKay Rorty (October 4 1931 - June 8 2007 was an American Philosopher. Compare Moral relativism, Aesthetic relativism, Social constructionism, Cultural relativism, and Cognitive relativism. James's description of the mind-world connection, which he described in terms of a "stream of consciousness," had a direct and significant impact on avant-garde and modernist literature and art. Avant-garde (avɑ̃gaʁd in French) means "advance guard" or "vanguard Modernism describes an array of Cultural movements rooted in the changes in Western society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century
In What Pragmatism Means, James writes that the central point of his own doctrine of truth is, in brief, that "truth is one species of good, and not, as is usually supposed, a category distinct from good, and coordinate with it. Truth is the name of whatever proves itself to be good in the way of belief, and good, too, for definite, assignable reasons. " Richard Rorty claims that James did not mean to give a theory of truth with this statement and that we should not regard it as such. Richard McKay Rorty (October 4 1931 - June 8 2007 was an American Philosopher. However, other pragmatism scholars such as Susan Haack and Howard Mounce do not share Rorty's instrumentalist interpretation of James. Susan Haack (born 1945 England) is an English professor of Philosophy and Law at the University of Miami in the United In the Philosophy of science, instrumentalism is the view that concepts and theories are merely useful instruments whose worth is measured not by whether the concepts and 
In The Meaning of Truth, James speaks of truth in relativistic terms: "The critic's [sc. , the critic of pragmatism] trouble. . . seems to come from his taking the word 'true' irrelatively, whereas the pragmatist always means 'true for him who experiences the workings. ' "
From the introduction to William James's Pragmatism by Bruce Kuklick, p. xiv.
In William James's lecture of 1897 titled "The Will to Believe," James defends the right to violate the principle of evidentialism in order to justify hypothesis venturing. "The Will to Believe" is the title of William James 's classic lecture (published in 1897 defending the adoption of beliefs as Hypotheses and self-fulfilling Evidentialism is a Theory of justification according to which whether a Belief is justified depends solely on what a person's evidence is Although this doctrine is often seen as a way for William James to justify religious beliefs, his philosophy of pragmatism allows him to use the results of his hypothetical venturing as evidence to support the hypothesis' truth. Pragmatism generally considered to have originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Peirce, who first stated the Pragmatic maxim. Therefore, this doctrine allows one to assume belief in God and prove its existence by what the belief brings to one's life.
James did important work in philosophy of religion. Philosophy of religion is a branch of Philosophy that is concerned with the philosophical study of religion including arguments over the nature and existence of God religious In his Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh he provided a wide-ranging account of The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) and interpreted them according to his pragmatic leanings. The Gifford Lectures were established by the will of Adam Lord Gifford (died 1887) The University of Edinburgh (Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann founded in 1582 is a renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. The Varieties of Religious Experience A Study in Human Nature is a book by the Harvard psychologist and philosopher William James that comprises his edited Year 1902 ( MCMII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting Some of the important claims he makes in this regard:
The investigation of mystical experience was constant throughout the life of James, leading him to experiment with chloral hydrate (1870), amyl nitrite (1875), nitrous oxide (1882), and even peyote (1896). Mysticism (from the Greek grc μυστικός mystikos, an initiate of a Mystery religion) is the pursuit of communion with identity Chloral hydrate is a Sedative and Hypnotic drug as well as a Chemical reagent and precursor Alkyl nitrites are Chemical compounds of structure R-ONO Formally they are Alkyl Esters of Nitrous acid. Nitrous oxide, commonly known as " laughing gas," is a Chemical compound with the Chemical formula N 2 O. Lophophora williamsii (loʊˈfɒfərə wɪlˈjæmsiaɪ lō-fof′ŏ-ră will-yăm′sē-ī better known by its common name Peyote, (from the James claimed that it was only when he was under the influence of nitrous oxide that he was able to understand Hegel.  He concluded that while the revelations of the mystic hold true, they hold true only for the mystic; for others, they are certainly ideas to be considered, but can hold no claim to truth without personal experience of such.
James is one of the two namesakes of the James-Lange theory of emotion, which he formulated independently of Carl Lange in the 1880s. The James-Lange theory refers to a hypothesis on the origin and nature of emotions developed independently by two 19th-century scholars William James and Carl An emotion is a mental and physiological state associated with a wide variety of feelings thoughts and behaviours Carl Georg Lange (1834 - 1900 was a Danish Physician and Psychologist. Events and Trends Technology Development and commercial production of Electric lighting Development and commercial production of gasoline-powered The theory holds that emotion is the mind's perception of physiological conditions that result from some stimulus. In James' oft-cited example; it is not that we see a bear, fear it, and run. We see a bear and run, consequently we fear the bear. Our mind's perception of the higher adrenaline level, heartbeat, etc. In Psychology and the Cognitive sciences perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory Information. , is the emotion.
This way of thinking about emotion has great consequences for the philosophy of aesthetics. Aesthetics or esthetics ( also spelled æsthetics) is commonly known as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values sometimes called Here is a passage from his great work, Principles of Psychology, that spells out those consequences.
[W]e must immediately insist that aesthetic emotion, pure and simple, the pleasure given us by certain lines and masses, and combinations of colors and sounds, is an absolutely sensational experience, an optical or auricular feeling that is primary, and not due to the repercussion backwards of other sensations elsewhere consecutively aroused. To this simple primary and immediate pleasure in certain pure sensations and harmonious combinations of them, there may, it is true, be added secondary pleasures; and in the practical enjoyment of works of art by the masses of mankind these secondary pleasures play a great part. Pleasure is commonly conceptualized as a positive experience Happiness, Entertainment, Enjoyment, ecstasy, and euphoria, but is hard The more classic one's taste is, however, the less relatively important are the secondary pleasures felt to be, in comparison with those of the primary sensation as it comes in. Classicism and romanticism have their battles over this point. For the works or study of works from classical antiquity see Classics Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to Romanticism is a complex artistic literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Western Europe, and gained strength during the Complex suggestiveness, the awakening of vistas of memory and association, and the stirring of our flesh with picturesque mystery and gloom, make a work of art romantic. The classic taste brands these effects as coarse and tawdry, and prefers the naked beauty of the optical and auditory sensations, unadorned with frippery or foliage. To the romantic mind, on the contrary, the immediate beauty of these sensations seems dry and thin. I am of course not discussing which view is right, but only showing that the discrimination between the primary feeling of beauty, as a pure incoming sensible quality, and the secondary emotions which are grafted thereupon, is one that must be made.
One of the long-standing schisms in the philosophy of history concerns the role of individuals in social change. Philosophy of history or historiosophy is an area of Philosophy concerning the eventual significance if any of human History.
One faction sees individuals ("heroes" as Thomas Carlyle called them) as the motive power of history, and the broader society as the page on which they write their acts. Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881 was a Scottish essayist satirist and historian whose work was highly influential during the Victorian era. The other sees society as moving according to holistic principles or laws, and sees individuals as its more-or-less willing pawns. Distinguish from the suffix -holism, which describes addictions In 1880, James waded into this controversy with "Great Men and Their Environment," an essay published in the Atlantic Monthly. The Atlantic (formerly known as The Atlantic Monthly) is an American Magazine founded in Boston in 1857 He took Carlyle's side, but without Carlyle's one-sided emphasis on the political/military sphere, upon heroes as the founders or overthrowers of states and empires.
"Rembrandt must teach us to enjoy the struggle of light with darkness," James wrote. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (July 15 1606 &ndash October 4 1669 was a Dutch painter and etcher. "Wagner to enjoy peculiar musical effects; Dickens gives a twist to our sentimentality, Artemus Ward to our humor; Emerson kindles a new moral light within us. See also Artemas Ward (disambiguation Charles Farrar Browne, ( April 23, 1834 - March 6, 1867) was a Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25 1803 &ndash April 27 1882 was an American essayist philosopher poet and leader of the Transcendentalist movement in the early 19th century "
In 1909 William James published Expériences d'un Psychiste, a book which he relates many experiments that he had with the medium Leonora Piper. Mediumship is a practice in religious beliefs such as Spiritualism, Spiritism, Espiritismo, Candomblé, Louisiana Voodoo, and His first commentary about Piper, however, was published in Science:
In the trances of this medium, I cannot resist the conviction that knowledge appears which she has never gained by the ordinary waking use of her eyes and ears and wits.
William James gave more detailed informations about his first experiments with Piper in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Reasearch:
I made Mrs. Piper's acquaintance in the autumn of 1885. My wife's mother, Mrs. Gibbens, had been told of her by a friend, during the previous summer, and never having seen a medium before, had paid her a visit out of curiosity. She returned with the statement that Mrs. P. had given her a long string of names of members of the family, mostly Christian names, together with facts about the persons mentioned and their relations to each other, the knowledge of which on her part was incomprehensible without supernormal powers. My sister-in-law went the next day, with still better results, as she related them. Amongst other things, the medium had accurately described the circumstances of the writer of a letter which she held against her forehead, after Miss G. had given it to her. The letter was in Italian, and its writer was known to but two persons in this country. [I may add that on a later occasion my wife and I took another letter from this same person to Mrs. P. , who went on to speak of him in a way which identified him unmistakably again. On a third occasion, two years later, my sister-in-law and I being again with Mrs. P. , she reverted in her trance to these letters, and then gave us the writer's name, which she said she had not been able to get on the former occasion. ] But to revert to the beginning. I remember playing the esprit fort on that occasion before my feminine relatives, and seeking to explain, by simple considerations the marvellous character of the facts which they brought back. This did not, however, prevent me from going myself a few days later, in company with my wife, to get a direct personal impression. The names of none of us up to this meeting had been announced to Mrs. P. , and Mrs. J. and I were, of course, careful to make no reference to our relatives who had preceded. The medium, however, when entranced, repeated most of the names of " spirits" whom she had announced on the two former occasions and added others. The names came with difficulty, and were only gradually made perfect. My wife's father's name of Gibbens was announced first as Niblin, then as Giblin. A child Herman (whom we had lost the previous year) had his name spelt out as Herrin. I think that in no case were both Christian and surnames given on this visit. But the facts predicated of the persons named made it in many instances impossible not to recognise the particular individuals who were talked about. We took particular pains on this occasion to give the Phinuit control no help over his difficulties and to ask no leading questions. In the light of subsequent experience I believe this not to be the best policy. For it often happens, if you give this trance-personage a name or some small fact for the lack of which he is brought to a standstill, that he will then start off with a copious flow of additional talk, containing in itself an abundance of " tests. " My impression after this first visit was, that Mrs. P. was either possessed of supernormal powers, or knew the members of my wife's family by sight and had by some lucky coincidence become acquainted with such a multitude of their domestic circumstances as to produce the startling impression which she did. My later knowledge of her sittings and personal acquaintance with her has led me absolutely to reject the latter explanation, and to believe that she has supernormal powers.